AUT University is located on Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD.
Familiar criticisms are easy to level against
today’s culture of overproduction: low quality goods manufactured in
unacceptable working conditions have driven down quality in favour of volume.
Far harder to come by are clear solutions. Consumer apathy, the disparities of
global economics and rapidly disappearing knowledge pose formidable barriers to
change. But there are inspiring examples of designers and artists succeeding in
their rejection of our present models of production. As the American
artist Liza Lou recently explained, “The story and the way things are
made is very important, it is part of the meaning… I don’t think you can
separate the meaning from how things are made… if we do that, then what we do
is negate labor, and the people that are part of a process.” This lecture
considers practitioners such as Liza Lou, Studio Formafantasma,
Meekyoung Shin, Theaster Gates and Hechizoo Studio - who each critique
current models of production and investigate inspiring
alternatives. Time, as the Swedish artist Emelie Röndahl explains, is
often their greatest investment capital.
Jessica Hemmings writes about textiles. She
studied Textile Design at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a
BFA (Honors) in 1999 and Comparative Literature (Africa/Asia) at the University
of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, earning an MA (Distinction)
in 2000. Her PhD, awarded by the University of Edinburgh in 2006, is published
by kalliope paperbacks under the title Yvonne Vera: The Voice of Cloth (2008).
She has taught at Central Saint Martins, Rhode Island School of Design,
Winchester School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. In 2010 she edited
a collection of essays titled In the Loop: Knitting Now published
by Black Dog and in 2012 edited The Textile Reader (Berg) and
wrote Warp & Weft (Bloomsbury). Her latest editorial and
curatorial project, Cultural Threads, is a book about postcolonial
thinking and contemporary textile practice (Bloomsbury: 2015) accompanied by a
travelling exhibition Migrations. She is currently Professor
of Visual Culture and Head of the School of Visual Culture at the National
College of Art & Design, Dublin.